I like places that exceed expectation. The bar with tapas that I mentioned a few posts ago is a case in point. My good lady tells me I came over a bit lukewarm about it - I'm not, I thought it was very good, and delivered far beyond our expectations.
If I may be so bold, I also think that the shop I manage, Beer-Ritz in Leeds, delivers beyond expectations. With a band of merry bloggers about to arrive in a few days, I may be setting myself up for a fall by saying this, but I like to think that the combination of backwater location, slightly shabby exterior, and a metric shedload of good beers delivers far beyond what anyone expects if they've never visited before.
Another place that is something of an over-achiever is The Grove Inn, Huddersfield. We went their recently for our annual staff outing, and aside from their being an absurd number of great bottles and casks to chose from, the thing that did it for me was the disparity between it's ordinary pubbiness, and it's beery eclecticism.
It's a little walk from the station, but well worth the effort. I love the fact that there are so many beers on offer that the staff need a map to find them (seriously). It took a couple of goes for me to be served with an Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock, despite my description of it having a little plastic goat hanging from the neck. When the bottle eventually appeared, it did so accompanied with a classic dry aside: "Goat? It looks more like a bloody antelope to me"
Anyway, have a look at the regularly updated draught menu and the list of bottles, and judge for yourself. It's like an ordinary pub, but brilliant.
Here we are, returning from the Grove, having a beer on Huddersfield station. We bought a bottle of De Molen Summink or Oeder to take out, and before you think ill of us, we brought the glasses with us. We had a bottle of Deus and an Ola Dubh 40yr Old on the train on the way there, just to liven the palate a bit. The top pic is one of Ron Pattinson's historically accurate beers, brewed at De Molen. On the basis of this bottle alone, both Ron and Menno rock.